Living Donation

A living organ donor is someone who donates a kidney or partial liver to another person; usually a relative or close friend who has end stage kidney disease or liver failure.

Living organ donation is major surgery and is not without risk to the donor. Prospective donors are required to undergo extensive testing to ensure that they are physically and mentally able to donate. If surgery proceeds, the donor will require a significant amount of time off work to recover, with the standard recovery period being four to six weeks. Some donors may be required to take this period as leave without pay, or they may exhaust their paid leave entitlements. This can lead to financial stress and, because of this; some donors may feel compelled to return to work early against medical advice.

The Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program: a transplant option for patients with an incompatible living donor

The Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) Program is an initiative of the OTA to increase the options for living kidney donation.

The AKX Program helps patients seeking a kidney transplant, whose potential living donor is unsuitable for them due to blood group and/or tissue incompatibility.

Learn more about the AKX Program.

Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors 

The Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Program (the Program) was implemented as a two year pilot to run from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015.  The Programme aims to alleviate the financial stress that can be experienced by living organ donors by reimbursing employers for payments or leave credits provided to their employees for leave taken to donate an organ and recover from the procedure. 

Following the success of the two year pilot, in May 2015, the Australian Government announced that the Program would continue for two years from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2017 and would be administered by the Department of Health.

On 8 May 2017, the Australian Government announced that the Program would continue for four years from 1 July 2017 with some important changes

A key change was that the maximum reimbursement available under the Program was extended from six weeks to nine weeks (based on a 38 hour week) of leave, at an amount up to the National Minimum Wage.

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